PDA

View Full Version : OpEd piece. Why do Americans still dislike atheists.


Buzzard
05-02-2011, 11:10 PM
Link (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-do-americans-still-dislike-atheists/2011/02/18/AFqgnwGF_story.html)

Interesting piece. Anyone here want to give their reasons if you feel this way?

I find the author's points to be valid.

NateR
05-03-2011, 01:19 AM
Psalm 14:
For the director of music. Of David.

1 The fool[a] says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.

2 The LORD looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.

4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?

They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on the LORD.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
for God is present in the company of the righteous.
6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
but the LORD is their refuge.

7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the LORD restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

(Psalm 14:1 The Hebrew words rendered fool in Psalms denote one who is morally deficient.)

In verse 2, GOD is looking down upon "all mankind," referencing all of humanity, not just those who don't believe in GOD. It's a condemnation of the entire human race. It's a theme repeated in the Bible that human beings are inherently evil and only GOD can be called good. In other words, there is no such thing as a "good person." Being a Christian is not about being a good person, it's about recognizing just how evil and corrupt we really are and knowing that there is nothing we can do to change that, outside of GOD's direct intervention.

As for the OpEd itself, trying to portray Atheists as some kind of oppressed minority just seems a little silly.

Dethbob
05-03-2011, 01:37 PM
This looks like standard pro-Atheism boiler plate, with a victimhood hook clumsily stapled on.

It is not Rational to claim that disagreeing with someone’s opinion is bigotry.

Buzzard
05-03-2011, 05:03 PM
Psalm 14:


In verse 2, GOD is looking down upon "all mankind," referencing all of humanity, not just those who don't believe in GOD. It's a condemnation of the entire human race. It's a theme repeated in the Bible that human beings are inherently evil and only GOD can be called good. In other words, there is no such thing as a "good person." Being a Christian is not about being a good person, it's about recognizing just how evil and corrupt we really are and knowing that there is nothing we can do to change that, outside of GOD's direct intervention.

As for the OpEd itself, trying to portray Atheists as some kind of oppressed minority just seems a little silly.

Your biblical verses are nice and such, but they don't apply to me. I don't believe in your god. Do any verses in the Quran apply to you?

It seems silly to you because you aren't an atheist. Can I post in your Christianity section? I don't want to bash, but to participate. If I disagree with things in there, can I respond?

What points of his do you disagree with? Specifics too please.

This looks like standard pro-Atheism boiler plate, with a victimhood hook clumsily stapled on.

It is not Rational to claim that disagreeing with someone’s opinion is bigotry.

It is rational if bigotry is indeed the case. I hear so many Christians whine about not being allowed to put up nativity scenes and say that they are always being persecuted. Is this victim-hood?

Why can't atheists join the Boy Scouts? It's because of their lack of religion.

Anyone going to give their reasons why they don't like atheists? I'm asking, I'm ready for the answers. Heck, some folks here have no problem expressing why they don't like Muslims, here's a chance to sound off against atheists where I can play too.

Gotta go to PT now, will check back later. RevwaR:)

Dethbob
05-03-2011, 05:15 PM
Your biblical verses are nice and such, but they don't apply to me. I don't believe in your god.

If I don't believe in gravity, does it no longer apply to me?

Why can't atheists join the Boy Scouts?

Why can't atheists join the Mormon Church?

Anyone going to give their reasons why they don't like atheists?

Straw man. I know plenty of atheists, I like them fine. What I don't like is an ideology that misleads people into thinking they don't need God.

Buzzard
05-04-2011, 12:36 AM
If I don't believe in gravity, does it no longer apply to me?

That silliness doesn't deserve a response. Do the teaching of the Quran apply to you? Do you believe in Allah? Surely their teachings would apply to you even if you are an unbeliever if you say that biblical teachings apply to me.




Why can't atheists join the Mormon Church?


Who says that they can't? I bet as an atheist I could join if I didn't tell them I was an atheist. I would just have to jump through the same hurdles as others who wish to join.


Straw man. I know plenty of atheists, I like them fine. What I don't like is an ideology that misleads people into thinking they don't need God.

Ok, you aren't one of the folks mentioned, and that is great. My apologies for placing you in that category.

I don't need any gods; not yours or any of the other numerous gods out there. Not trying to be a smart ass, but I believe I am doing just fine without any of them. I could say the same about Christianity or any other religion because it misleads many to thinking that they need or that there is a god.

I had a co-worker who used to talk to me, sit with me at lunch etc., until he found out I was an atheist. Then he found out I was going to vote for Obama and that was it.:laugh:

I've read many comments on this forum which were derogatory against atheists or any other non-Christian religion; some directed at me, some not.

What specifics in the OpEd do you disagree with? What specifics make you say this screams victimhood? I'm truly interested in this.

NateR
05-04-2011, 01:13 AM
1. Your biblical verses are nice and such, but they don't apply to me. I don't believe in your god. Do any verses in the Quran apply to you?

2. It seems silly to you because you aren't an atheist. Can I post in your Christianity section? I don't want to bash, but to participate. If I disagree with things in there, can I respond?

3. What points of his do you disagree with? Specifics too please.

1. I'm merely pointing out that the author's evaluation of the Biblical passage was incorrect and out of context.

2. The Christianity section exists on this forum for a specific purpose. Just like the Matt Hughes, UFC and MMA sections all exist for a specific purpose. If you want to bash or attempt to discredit Christianity, then you are free to do it... on any other website but this one. You are also free to invite anyone here to debate with you on whichever other website you choose to have this discussion; but if no one is willing to engage in a debate with you, then you're just out of luck. Trying to characterize that as bigotry or discrimination is silly.

If you were to post a thread about Lady Gaga in the Matt Hughes section or a thread about baking a pie in the UFC section, they would be moved or closed because they are off topic. The same principle applies to the Christianity section.

3. Well, as noted, I disagree with the author's interpretation of GOD's Word.

Plus, I disagree that it's discrimination. If you want to see people truly being persecuted for their beliefs, then look at Christians being arrested, tortured and murdered for their faith around the world.

From Persecution.net:
According to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians in at least 60 countries are denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith. David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, and Peter F. Crossing in their 2009 report in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research (Vol. 33, No. 1: 32) estimate that approximately 176,000 Christians will have been martyred from mid-2008 to mid-2009. This, according to the authors, compares to 160,000 martyrs in mid-2000 and 34,400 at the beginning of the 20th century. If current trends continue, Barrett, Johnson and Crossing estimate that by 2025, an average of 210,000 Christians will be martyred annually.

Now these numbers are estimates because this stuff primarily happens in remote, third world countries; but the evidence that persecution of Christians is alive and well in the world today far outweighs any evidence of persecution against Atheists:

(From an attack on Christians in India in 2008) (http://catchthefire.com.au/blog/2008/09/19/christians-in-india-need-your-help-urgently-from-pastor-danny-of-catch-the-fire-ministries/)
http://catchthefire.com.au/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/att3944699-fp.jpg

Buzzard
05-04-2011, 01:42 AM
Straw man. I know plenty of atheists, I like them fine. What I don't like is an ideology that misleads people into thinking they don't need God.

After thinking about your reply, I realized it wasn't a strawman at all. My question was "Anyone want to give their reasons for why they don't like atheists?"

You said that that you liked them, so the question didn't apply to you. If there are folks on here that it applies to, hopefully they'll answer the questions and join in the conversation.

Can you convince me that the deity in whom you believe in is the OTG? I'm asking you this sincerely. If you can, great. If you aren't comfortable with me asking questions back, then I don't think this will work, but I'll still give it a go. If not interested, no problems there either.

NateR
05-04-2011, 01:47 AM
"Anyone want to give their reasons for why they don't like atheists?"

I have several friends who are Atheists or agnostic and, if it came right down to it, I would vote for an Atheist Presidential candidate long before I voted for a Muslim Presidential candidate. I would prefer it if I wasn't put in that position, but if those were the only two options, that is how I would vote.

Buzzard
05-04-2011, 02:15 AM
1. I'm merely pointing out that the author's evaluation of the Biblical passage was incorrect and out of context.

Thanks for clarification.


2. The Christianity section exists on this forum for a specific purpose. Just like the Matt Hughes, UFC and MMA sections all exist for a specific purpose. If you want to bash or attempt to discredit Christianity, then you are free to do it... on any other website but this one. You are also free to invite anyone here to debate with you on whichever other website you choose to have this discussion; but if no one is willing to engage in a debate with you, then you're just out of luck. Trying to characterize that as bigotry or discrimination is silly.

Where did I try to characterize the act of people not wishing to engage or debate with me as being bigotry or discrimination? If you are talking about my comments to Flo, completely different topic.

I wish to discuss. Are you are basically saying that one can only speak if they agree with your views, no questioning allowed? What would you call that if so? I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, which is why I am asking you these questions.

I asked my question to see if anyone wishes to share their views. I asked for it, I'm ready to discuss.


If you were to post a thread about Lady Gaga in the Matt Hughes section or a thread about baking a pie in the UFC section, they would be moved or closed because they are off topic. The same principle applies to the Christianity section.

Can I bring up religiony type stuff in the Woodshed?


3. Well, as noted, I disagree with the author's interpretation of GOD's Word.

What interpretations are you talking about? The only thing referred to was this quote.

"More than 2,000 years ago, whoever wrote Psalm 14 claimed that atheists were foolish and corrupt, incapable of doing any good."

What is your interpretation?


Plus, I disagree that it's discrimination. If you want to see people truly being persecuted for their beliefs, then look at Christians being arrested, tortured and murdered for their faith around the world.


If I were comparing persecution levels, your point would be worth adding, it's not here because it doesn't apply to this particular discussion. Not trying to sound snarky here.

What specific points of his were silly? He backed up some of his statements. What do you have to refute his statements?

Buzzard
05-04-2011, 02:18 AM
I have several friends who are Atheists or agnostic and, if it came right down to it, I would vote for an Atheist Presidential candidate long before I voted for a Muslim Presidential candidate. I would prefer it if I wasn't put in that position, but if those were the only two options, that is how I would vote.

You sure do come off differently on here.

Dethbob
05-04-2011, 12:47 PM
Anyone here want to give their reasons if you feel this way?

I'm asking, I'm ready for the answers.

I'm truly interested in this.

I'm asking you this sincerely. If you can, great. If you aren't comfortable with me asking questions back, then I don't think this will work, but I'll still give it a go. If not interested, no problems there either.

The more you insist you're not a troll, the less I believe you, especially when you ask a question like:
So, have you stopped beating your wife? and then call me silly for answering you.

If you really want to have a conversation about this, I guess you could start now. But if you're going to troll you should have the self respect and intestinal fortitude to just own it.

NateR
05-04-2011, 12:49 PM
You sure do come off differently on here.

Probably because you are reading your own preconceived notions into everything I type.

Spiritwalker
05-04-2011, 01:10 PM
Probably because you are reading your own preconceived notions into everything I type.


:laugh: I NEVER did that... :Whistle:

IMO.. Nate is VERY blunt.. and that is the better way of being.. IMO.. less confusion..

Spiritwalker
05-04-2011, 01:58 PM
OK.. I will take the bait...

Why do Americans still dislike atheists.

Because the VAST majority of the world belives in "God" in some form or name...

And that belife gives many things.. comfort, a sense of purpose, a belife that when the flesh fails.. there is more...

And when dealing with those the are true atheists.. I have seen that the atheist tends to have a "I am better than you" attitude... it's not always a "chip on their shoulder", but does come off as "looking down" or those that do have a religious system based on God.

The religion of atheisism never comes off as there is no God.. but rather skeptical of the belife in God..and skeptical of "misguided" people that belive in God.. and that skepticism rubs people that have a belife in God wrong... it seems...

Why? Because.. right or wrong.. they are both a belife system.. when looking at the science of a man rising from the dead.. walking on water.. and other men calling on God to part the ocean... and every other boat in the world not working and only one did.. it's easy to see why an atheist can keep that belife...

But when you look at the sense of comfort, of "oneness" in having a releationship with the creator, the desire to please and follow.. man .. there is just so much to that.. and I don't even know how to begin to explain the sheer "calm-ness" of that...

as far as being discrimination against the atheist and those of faith.. they both do it to each other.. basically because the two systems.. call to bring others to that system...



Boy Scouts.. the BSoA is a non-profit.. and can set up any rules they wish...

If an atheist wants to join the Boy Scouts.. I am sure that they can.. they just have to live a lie... if they are a true atheist.. why would they want to.. better to just join another like minded group.. if there isn't one.. start one..

As far as convincing you.. no one can convince someone of something they do not belive in.. if they are of strong mind.

Some people don't belive in the Jewish Holocost.. some people don't belive that planes flew into the World Trade Center.. Some people don't belive that dinosaurs and man didn't exist at the same time.. try finding someone that totally belives opposite of something you belive in.. and honestly try to convenience them that you are right.. and they are wrong.. it won't happen... That's where wars start.. to one degree or another...

Weather they should be convinced.. is a different topic..

Chris F
05-04-2011, 02:47 PM
Buzzard it is because they are not being honest with themselves. Agnostics at least say there could be. An Atheist is harder to swallow then a faith based person. You see we only know a fraction of what is in our universe. Yet the arogantly claim there is no God. We cannot know this for certain so to say it is impossible is just plain stupid. At least admit the possibility and be honest and say you refuse to accept God, Maybe than they would not look even more foolish that they already do,

Spiritwalker
05-04-2011, 03:08 PM
Buzzard it is because they are not being honest with themselves. Agnostics at least say there could be. An Atheist is harder to swallow then a faith based person. You see we only know a fraction of what is in our universe. Yet the arogantly claim there is no God. We cannot know this for certain so to say it is impossible is just plain stupid. At least admit the possibility and be honest and say you refuse to accept God, Maybe than they would not look even more foolish that they already do,


the question was ...
Why do Americans still dislike atheists.

Not.. let's bash atheists....


Are you saying that people of faith in God, belive that the atheist isn't being honest?? That addresses the question and points out that "Faith Based" are being discriminating against atheists... Just as well as an atheist discriminating against Faith Based religions..

Or are you saying that that when a atheist "arrogantly" claims there is no God they are stupid... and they are foolish?

Because those same sentences can be reversed to claim that the faith based people are just as foolish...

You could easily argue that the atheist is being more honest than the faith based person as faith requires a belife that mostly can't be proven.

Which is where the argument starts...

And it's not really a fair question because many Americans are atheists.

Agnostic atheists and Agnostic theists... are two different things... I would think that you would know that...

Buzzard
05-04-2011, 11:27 PM
the question was ...


Not.. let's bash atheists....


Are you saying that people of faith in God, belive that the atheist isn't being honest?? That addresses the question and points out that "Faith Based" are being discriminating against atheists... Just as well as an atheist discriminating against Faith Based religions..

Or are you saying that that when a atheist "arrogantly" claims there is no God they are stupid... and they are foolish?

Because those same sentences can be reversed to claim that the faith based people are just as foolish...

You could easily argue that the atheist is being more honest than the faith based person as faith requires a belife that mostly can't be proven.

Which is where the argument starts...

And it's not really a fair question because many Americans are atheists.

Agnostic atheists and Agnostic theists... are two different things... I would think that you would know that...

Thanks for your opinions Spiritwalker. Even though you took the "bait", I have no intention of setting a hook or reeling you in. Also, thanks for your response to ChrisF, you said it nicer than I probably would have. I'm still a work in progress.

Chris F
05-05-2011, 02:53 AM
the question was ...


Not.. let's bash atheists....


Are you saying that people of faith in God, belive that the atheist isn't being honest?? That addresses the question and points out that "Faith Based" are being discriminating against atheists... Just as well as an atheist discriminating against Faith Based religions..

Or are you saying that that when a atheist "arrogantly" claims there is no God they are stupid... and they are foolish?

Because those same sentences can be reversed to claim that the faith based people are just as foolish...

You could easily argue that the atheist is being more honest than the faith based person as faith requires a belife that mostly can't be proven.

Which is where the argument starts...

And it's not really a fair question because many Americans are atheists.

Agnostic atheists and Agnostic theists... are two different things... I would think that you would know that...

I am not going to justify the foolish drivel with a comment. You have no idea what you are talking about. You are just trying to get something started and I do not feel like playing your games.

Chris F
05-05-2011, 02:57 AM
Thanks for your opinions Spiritwalker. Even though you took the "bait", I have no intention of setting a hook or reeling you in. Also, thanks for your response to ChrisF, you said it nicer than I probably would have. I'm still a work in progress.

Buzz you have always been open and honest with me in your post so I see no need to make a mountain of a mole hill if you know what I mean. Where on earth SW got the state to claim MOST Americans are Atheist is beyond me. I know many people do not hate anything except for Biblical Christianity. Tolerance is pretty common for most beliefs but those of people who follow the bible. So unless SW can cite a source that most Americans are Atheist I really think this is a moot point and what has been siad already can sum up nothing more than our personal opinions on the subject :laugh:

Spiritwalker
05-05-2011, 03:29 AM
Buzz you have always been open and honest with me in your post so I see no need to make a mountain of a mole hill if you know what I mean. Where on earth SW got the state to claim MOST Americans are Atheist is beyond me. I know many people do not hate anything except for Biblical Christianity. Tolerance is pretty common for most beliefs but those of people who follow the bible. So unless SW can cite a source that most Americans are Atheist I really think this is a moot point and what has been siad already can sum up nothing more than our personal opinions on the subject :laugh:


Where did I say most Americans are atheist??

because the VAST majority of the world believes in "God" in some form or name...

I said many...

Spiritwalker
05-05-2011, 03:44 AM
I am not going to justify the foolish drivel with a comment. You have no idea what you are talking about. You are just trying to get something started and I do not feel like playing your games.


Not really.. you just don't/can't admit that your as biased as most other people of faith.. no big deal.. sorry you have such a closed mind..



EDIT... Opps... I ment "many".. not most...

flo
05-05-2011, 03:49 AM
Well, actually, SW said "many" Americans, Chris, not "most". However, according to statistics, "many" is also far from accurate. Although the statistical information tells us it is not a firm number, it is still undeniably a small number.


A 2004 BBC poll showed the number of people in the US who don't believe in a god to be about 9%. A 2008 Gallup poll showed that a smaller 6% of the US population believed that no god or universal spirit exists The 2001 ARIS report found that while 29.5 million U.S. Americans (14.1%) describe themselves as "without religion", only 902,000 (0.4%) positively claim to be atheist, with another 991,000 (0.5%) professing agnosticism. The most recent ARIS report, released March 9, 2009, found in 2008, 34.2 million Americans (15.0%) claim no religion. Of which, 1.6% explicitly describe themselves as atheist or agnostic, double the previous 2001 ARIS survey figure. The highest occurrence of "nones", according to the 2008 ARIS report, reside in Vermont, with 34% surveyed.

The latest statistics show that a lack of religious identity increased in every US state between 1990 and 2008. However less than 2% of the U.S. population describe themselves as atheist.


This is why I find it outrageous that Michael Newdow, who as an atheist represents a miniscule portion of the American population, has filed multiple lawsuits hoping to take any mention of God out of our pledge and currency. And who knows how many atheists, representing that miniscule portion of our population, agree with him? Half? A third?

flo
05-05-2011, 03:50 AM
Oops, I see Spirit already pointed out the "most" vs "many".

That's what I get for trying to type a post while watching American Idol. :laugh:

Spiritwalker
05-05-2011, 05:41 PM
Oops, I see Spirit already pointed out the "most" vs "many".

That's what I get for trying to type a post while watching American Idol. :laugh:

Thanks for watching my back thou... :cool: